A HEARTBROKEN dad has opened up about his ongoing fight to track down his beloved daughter’s killer, 20 years after she was brutally murdered.
Jennifer Olson, known professionally as Jennifer Servo, was found dead in her apartment in Abilene, Texas, almost exactly 20 jare terug.
And yet despite two decades of anguish for her family, no charges have ever been filed by detectives.
The young and ambitious TV news reporter, 22, had been missing for two days when her concerned colleagues raised the alarm.
Wanneer polisie arrived at the apartment on September 18, 2002, they discovered Jennifer’s body on the bathroom floor.
There were no signs of a break-in, indicating that she may have known her moordenaar.
She was fully clothed, but forensics teams found bruising which implied that she could have been sexually assaulted.
Jennifer had been strangled and suffered severe head trauma.
Although her ex-boyfriend Ralph Sepulveda was a suspect, he was never detained, and cops never made any arrests in the following years.
Mees gelees in News
Norm Olson still lives in the small town in Montana where Jennifer grew up.
He remembers from a young age how the funny, precocious child would make her family laugh on long car journeys, and how she learned to play the saxophone like her heroine Lisa Simpson.
“She made it clear she wanted to be a journalist in high school,” he told The Sun Online. “She saw the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa was an anchor on a school news show.”
But even as a young child, she would grab the front page of the newspaper and read the news section while the rest of the family would take the sports and ads sections.
An all-rounder, Jennifer also played the flute, designed and illustrated her own mini-newspapers, and was on both the swim team and high school cross country team.
Shortly after graduating from university in Montana, she moved to Abilene, Texas and joined local news channel KRBC TV.
As Norm explained, “she was making her dream come true”.
The world changed forever on that day. It took away all the happiness and dreams that I ever had
A devastated Norm revealed the last time he saw his daughter was Christmas 2000.
He and Jennifer’s mother had divorced, and she had taken her mother’s name Servo.
The final time they spoke face to face, Norm said his daughter and he spoke about their shared passion, old movies.
“We never spoke again afterwards,” Norm said. “I sent her a cheque for graduation, she cashed it but she never thanked me.
“It’s something I’ve struggled with ever since.”
Op Woensdag, September 18, 2002, Norm says, his life was forever altered.
‘LIFE WAS NEVER THE SAME’
“I got a phone call from her mother saying, ‘Jennifer’s dead,’ hy het gesê.
“The world changed forever on that day. It took away all the happiness and dreams that I ever had.”
It was only after Jennifer’s death that Norm learned about her ex-boyfriend, Ralph Sepulveda.
A former Army ranger, Sepulveda was 12 years older than Jennifer.
The couple met in Montana and had been dating just a few weeks when Sepulveda decided to follow Jennifer to her new job in Texas.
Egter, their relationship reportedly soured shortly after the move and they soon broke up.
Jennifer allegedly found out Sepulveda had a secret fiancée and child he had never told her about, and whom he had abandoned to be with her.
After the couple broke up, Jennifer reportedly met and got close to a weatherman at her work, Brian Travers.
Although Travers was believed to be serious about the relationship, Jennifer’s family believe she just wanted to be friends.
Cops investigating the murder found DNA from both Sepulveda and Travers at Jennifer’s apartment.
But neither men were ever charged or arrested, and there was also a suspicion of a third person or stalking having killed Jennifer.
Travers told police that on the night of September 15, the same day Jennifer went missing, they had gone on a shopping trip when she told him she felt they were being followed.
He dropped Jennifer off at her apartment safely, when authorities believe she rang an ex-boyfriend in Montana.
Just hours later, she was brutally murdered in her own home.
Both men were cleared due to a lack of evidence – and the third man has never been publicly identified.
Norm continues to run a “Remembering for Jennifer Olson” Facebook page but admits he is losing hope of bringing his daughter’s killer to justice.
“I don’t have any optimism,” hy het gesê. “I just want to keep her name and face out there.”
Hy het bygevoeg: “By keeping Jennifer’s memory alive I’m honouring her. As long as a dad can help his girl I’m going to do that.”
Vandag, Norm’s neighbours still remember Jennifer as a bright, pragtige, and vivacious young woman, but he no longer speaks to her mother and their side of the family.
“I sit in the dark of night holding my cat,” he adds after a pause. “I try to find some spiritual tranquillity that way.”